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Institute for Advanced Study to Honor Jim Simons at IAS Einstein Gala in New York

February 26, 2019
Press Contact
Lee Sandberg

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) will host its inaugural IAS Einstein Gala to honor Jim Simons on Thursday, March 14, 2019, at New York City’s Pier Sixty. Simons, who is Chair of the Simons Foundation, IAS Trustee Emeritus, and a former Member in the IAS School of Mathematics, will be recognized for his visionary support of the Institute’s mission and his trailblazing success as a mathematician, investor, and philanthropist.

The event will take place on the 140th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s birth. Einstein was a founding Professor of IAS, arriving in 1933 and working at the Institute until his death in 1955.

“Jim embodies a dedication to progress and intellectual curiosity that is truly one of a kind. Based on his early fascination with numbers, he has risen to the pinnacles of the academic, business, and philanthropic worlds, guided by unwavering principles and unique charm,” stated Robbert Dijkgraaf, Institute Director and Leon Levy Professor. “The Institute is proud to salute a philanthropist who is a champion of basic research that unlocks innovation and intellectual enterprise at the IAS and beyond.”

Simons will be honored with the IAS Bamberger Medal, which will be presented in recognition of his leadership and generous support of the Institute’s pioneering research. The medal is named in honor of Louis Bamberger and Caroline Bamberger Fuld, the brother-and-sister philanthropists who provided the founding $5 million gift to establish IAS as envisioned by the education reformer Abraham Flexner, the Institute’s founding Director.

The Master of Ceremonies will be David Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group, IAS Trustee, and host of The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations on Bloomberg TV and PBS. The event will bring together leaders from the worlds of mathematics, science, academia, technology, business, and philanthropy for an evening of celebration and discovery. Sir James Wolfensohn, former World Bank President, Chairman of Wolfensohn & Company, and IAS Board Chair Emeritus, and Charles Simonyi of Microsoft and current IAS Board Chair, will both serve as Honorary Chairs.

The evening will also feature a dynamic presentation by Robbert Dijkgraaf, “Einstein’s Dream,” highlighting the legacy of the legendary scholar and the ongoing search for a theory to unite the fundamental forces of the universe. As IAS Director, Dijkgraaf leads an organization that continues to enable the foremost thinkers of today to pursue bold, nonconformist research—without concern for immediate application—to advance the frontiers of knowledge.

Pulitzer Prize–winning composer and IAS Artist-in-Residence David Lang and cellist Zoë Keating will join as special musical guests.

For more information or to purchase tickets to the IAS Einstein Gala, please contact Karla Cosgriff at (609) 951-4409 or

About Jim Simons
James H. Simons is a mathematician, Chair of the Simons Foundation, and Founder and Board Chair of Renaissance Technologies. Simons is an IAS Trustee Emeritus and a former Member in the Institute’s School of Mathematics. His gifts to the Institute include funding Simons Hall and the Simons Center for Systems Biology, which applies the tools of modern physics, mathematics, and computer science, allowing scientists to make leaps of fundamental understanding in evolution and basic molecular biology.

Together with his wife, Marilyn, Simons manages the Simons Foundation, a charitable organization primarily devoted to scientific research. The Simons Foundation’s philanthropic activities include a major research initiative on the causes of autism and the establishment of the Flatiron Institute to advance scientific research through computational methods, including data analysis, theory, modeling, and simulation. Simons is also the Founder and Chair of Math for America, a nonprofit organization with a mission to improve math education significantly in our nation’s public schools.

Simons holds a B.S. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley. His scientific work is in the area of geometry and topology. His most influential work involves the discovery and application of certain measurements, now called the Chern–Simons invariants, which turn out to have wide use, particularly in theoretical physics. In 1976, he received the Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry from the American Mathematical Society, and he is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. Simons served as Chair of the Mathematics Department at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, was a cryptanalyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Princeton, and taught mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.